A Citizen’s Guide to Greece 2015


March 30, 2014

Vandalism and oppression

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Written by: Politis

Tasoula Karaiskaki has a commentary out in this past Saturday’s Kathimerini English edition relative to the incidence of graffiti in downtown Thessaloniki, partly celebrating the centenial of the founding of Aris football club. This is a subject that has attracted a lot of commentary in the press and on the social media.

Excerpts from the article appear below.

“Aris fans celebrated the centennial of the soccer club’s establishment in Thessaloniki last week by vandalizing almost every important monument in the center of the northern port city. They spray-painted slogans on the White Tower, the Vassiliko Theater, the headquarters of the Young Men’s Christian Association (HANTH), the statue of Alexander the Great, the Society for Macedonian Studies, and, as one scrawl boasted, “all along Tsimiski [Street].”

Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris accused the vandals of ‘anti-social, shameless and uncivilized behavior…’

The mayor has spoken out against such vandalism in the past, a frequent and ongoing occurrence along the seafront, on signs informing visitors of the city’s history, at the Holocaust Memorial and elsewhere. He said that the city was in a constant state of war with the vandals: ‘They scrawl, we clean and whoever gets tired first wins.’

[V]andalism is an act of oppression, in which the collective ego of the group of vandals puts its destructive mark on things that as individuals they should be helping preserve: clean, functional public space, works of art, monuments celebrating history and collective memory, the relics of tradition and so on. Whether an expression of hooliganism or reaction against society, whether done lightly or unconsciously under peer pressure or completely consciously, the result is the same: ruining something that belongs to everyone.”


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